In this individual assignment, you will be given an opportunity to explore contemporary marketing issues related to consumer behaviour. First, you are required to pick a product that falls into the category of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). You will be then required to create a 7-minute video, in which you must discuss and critically analyse your recent purchase of the chosen FMCG product based on the 5-step Consumer Decision Making Process.
Your task is to record a narration of each of the steps of the Consumer Decision Making Process on video and provide the viewer with an in-depth critical analysis of how you have moved through each of the steps. In your analysis, you will need to explain and demonstrate the steps along with your identification of any possible issues that occurred during this process. The findings presented in the video must be based on primary research and can be reinforced by analysis of relevant secondary data. Readings from Weeks 1-5 must also support your observations.
Your recording must incorporate theories and concepts related to consumer behaviour discussed in the topics from weeks 1 to 5. More specifically:
For those students who have limited experience in video making techniques, it is recommended to view the following online tutorials or visit our Academic Success Centre for further guidance and support.
Overview of the Assignment
Marketers have taken up consumer behavior research in order to understand why and how individuals decide what to buy, how to buy and when to buy. Theories that explain consumer behavior, address issues of how individuals, groups, organizations select certain goods, how they buy, use and also how they dispose them in order to satisfy their need/wants. It also focuses on how consumers decide to use their resources such as effort, time and money on consumption items. This incorporates what they buy, why they buy, when they do it, where they do it and how often they buy. In our case study we will consider refreshments as a fast moving consumer good. More specifically, the assignment will evaluate the consumer decision making process of the suitable soda soft drink from Coca Cola industries from a variety of other products from different companies such as Pepsi.
Some of the theories of customer behavior include the theory of reasoned action proposed by Martin Fishbein (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010). This theory reiterates on the pre-existing notions and attitudes in the process of making decisions by consumers. The critical issue addressed by this theory is that the consumer’s behavior is guided by their expectation of receiving a particular outcome (Trafimow, 2009). At the centre of this argument is the rationality of the consumer in deciding to purchase a certain product in their own best interest. This theory proposes that the consumer can change his/her decision in the process of decision making. The other theory popularly referred to as the EKB model (Irina & Bonnca, 2007), is an advancement of the Martin Fishbein theory which proposes five steps that consumers follow when purchasing items/products. The models propose that the consumers at the initial process absorb information from marketing materials such as brochures, newspapers and television. The second is the information processing at which the consumer makes a comparative analysis of past experiences vis-à-vis expectations. Finally, the last decision is purchasing decision. The decision of whether to purchase or not is influenced by rational insights (Wilkee, 1990).
The Maslow theory known as Motivation-Need theory posits that decision making is influenced by a priority system. The needs, categorized according to their importance include “physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization.” The other theory advanced by Hawkins Stern states that consumer behavior is based on impulsive behavior and not rationality. The theory suggests that purchasing behavior is influenced by external stimulus. Despite various theories explaining consumer behavior, there is consensus on the stages of decision making processes. The decision process revolves around searching of products and services depending on the need or want, purchasing the product and finally evaluating the product/service. The five step model that is commonly accepted and later advanced by Blackwell includes Need Recognition, Information search, Review of Alternatives, Purchase and lastly Post Purchase (Irina & Bonnca, 2007).
The Consumer Decision Making Process
In the context of this assignment, the task will be to analyze these stages with respect to Fast Moving Consumer Goods. Some of the goods that are classified under this category include packaged goods, beverages, household items, refreshments and other non-durable products.
For instance, if we consider a fast moving beverage product like soda, we will have a variety of companies that offer same product such as Coke, Pepsi and the rest. From the first stage which is Need Recognition, the consumer will first and foremost realize the need of the soda. In this case the “Need” will have been occasioned by the consumer willing to entertain his friends, quench his thirst or boost his/her energy. In our case study, the consumer wants to purchase sodas for his friends who are visiting. This process often arises after encountering with the product/service either during window shopping or through social media (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). The feeling that arises as a result of the expectation situation and the actual situation is referred to as “state of tension”. In order to address this state of tension an individual needs motivation. Some of the motivation theories that explain the cause of action include the theory of hierarchy of needs, the theory of equilibrium and the theory of the concept of the self. In this context, the consumer will identify the soda as his need in order to fulfill the need to entertain and satisfy his peers. The need will create a “state of tension” that will lead to a reasoned cause of action (motivation) to fulfill his/her need.
The second step is the analysis of information which provides the answers as to the available information a consumer looks out for in the decision making process. The consumer will have received information about different types and flavors of soda. He/she will therefore analyze the information about the different varieties at his disposal. For instance in our case study, the consumer will have acquired information from the television, print media, social media or the other modes of information dissemination. The analysis process will be determined by how the information is relayed to the consumer. In order to understand these concepts, the mechanisms of consumer behavior; perception, attention and sensation have to be considered. Perception deals with issues of sensorial activities while sensation deals with stimuli awakening occasioned by information. The awakening of senses and stimuli will determine whether the consumer will seek more information about that product. The gathered information will be stored in consumer’s long term memory after analysis, comparison and integration. The way the message was codified and relayed will determine the final decision making. Information can also be relayed by peers, relatives and friends (Lynn & Close, 2006). In our case study, the consumer will decide on a Coke soda from other companies that offer other soft drinks.
Theories and Concepts related to Consumer Behaviour
The consumer will then evaluate available alternatives. At this stage, there is every intention in purchasing the product/service. In our case study, the consumer will have Coke sodas of different types and flavors, size, packaging, prizes and from different locations. In this context, the consumer will have to evaluate all these alternatives. This will have been influenced by attitude, past experiences, opinions of other people as well as rumors. The consumer will consider all these issues and will settle for the best alternatives at his/her disposal (Wiedmann, Hennings, & Siebels, 2007). In our case the consumer will settle for Coke Zero sugar/diet soda from Sprite, Fanta and others partly because it has been endorsed by football celebrities on television. The consumer will also purchase the product because it has been advertised as a healthy choice. He will also buy from a convenience store owned by Coke Company so that he stands a chance of winning a lottery and a discount as some peers have done in the recent past.
After evaluating the available alternatives, the consumers will make the final decision. There are several factors that will influence the purchase decision such as availability of the product, mode of payment, customer care services and many others. Specialists suggest that sales assistants have a critical role in decision making. The customer might want to purchase in cash, credit cards, mobile ordering or many other forms. Again, this will be dependent on the beverage store offering this mode of payment services. From several convenience stores offering Coke Zero sugar, there is only one that accepts credit cards as mode of payment and so his choice will be influenced by that.
Finally, the consumer will have purchased the product. The consumer will have felt the actual experience of the product he already made a decision to purchase. This stage is critical because it affects future decision making. A good experience will lead to repeated process while a bad one will lead to negative reservations (Brink & Berndt, 2009). The opinion of friends, family and co-workers has the potential to determine post-purchase evaluation outcomes. In our case study, a consumer will have experienced the outcome of the Coke soda he/she purchased and will review the satisfaction levels that will ultimately determine future decision making. The customer will evaluate health benefits of the Coke Zero sugar and might decide to endorse the product to some of his peers and family friends. His peers will also have opinions about the product and will review the suitability and preference.
Brink, A., & Berndt, A. (2009). Relationship Marketing and Customer Relationship Management. Juta Publications.
Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (2010). Predicting and Changing Behavior. New York: Psychology Press.
Irina, C., & Bonnca, A. G. (2007, November). Concepts and Theories Regarding the Behavior of Consumer of Products and Services. Retrieved August 18, 2018, from https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7853/1/CONCEPTS_AND_THEORIES_REGARDING_THE_BEHAVIOR_OF_THE_CONSUMER_OF_PRODUCTS_AND_SERVICES.pdf
Lynn, K. R., & Close, A. G. (2006). Consumer Behaviour Knowledge for Effective Sports and Event Marketing. New York: Taylor& Francis.
Trafimow, D. (2009). The theory of Reasoned Action. Theory and Psychology , 501-518.
Tyagi, C. L., & Kumar, A. (2004). Consumer Behaviour. New Delhi: Atlantic.
Wiedmann, K.-P., Hennings, N., & Siebels, A. (2007). Measuring Luxury consumer perception: A cross-culture framework. Academy of Marketing Science , 7.
Wilkee, W. L. (1990). Consumer Behavior. New York: John Wiley & Sons.